|By definition, a
poster is a big section of printed paper. This can
be hung up on a wall or can hang down from a ceiling
or put up on a board. Poster art involves the use of
both or either text and graphics. Posters that
employ only one of the two as content are also not
unusual. Posters that use only text, however, were
most common in the age of the monarchy as these were
used to make royal announcements.
Today, there are
many reasons to make posters. An art poster may be
the printed reproduction of a famous work of art.
Such posters may also be vintage posters and such
posters, like any prints would be very expensive. A
vintage poster art print can be an advertisement of
an old product. For instance, such a poster could
include a specific ad campaign launched by a soda
company. An art education poster on the other hand
would be about a particular academic or educational
issue. Such posters have practical rather than
artistic value and naturally command a lower price.
In fact, most posters have practical value unless in
demand by a collector or someone who enjoys keeping
stock poster art.
As far as sizes go,
the most popular poster size is roughly two feet by
three feet. However some posters can be much larger
as in the kind of posters that are used on
billboards around India. Smaller posters are also a
popular form of advertisement in India but these are
known as flyers rather than as posters.
It was the major
development in art poster printing techniques and
the invention of lithography and chromolithography
printing techniques that prompted the production of
affordable posters. These techniques grew popular
in nineteenth century Europe and many famous artists
created posters at that time. Jules Cheret, one of
the most respected artists of that time was known
for making posters for various functions and events.
Jules’ work could be an art show poster on one day,
and he would work on advertisement posters for
exhibitions or theatre performances the next.
time, the demand for such posters grew to such an
extent that the industry of poster-making attracted
several artists and painters in search of more
lucrative work. Posters then became a common sight
in Paris. Each artist would have a special style and
eventually theater personalities and other clients
started choosing artistic poster styles according to
their taste and consequently offered their business
to select artists. In that era in Europe, posters
soon became equated with graphic art. However,
poster art did not see the same fate in the United
States of America. There, posters were still viewed
as mainly a means of advertisement. European posters
of that great era are now in great demand and fetch
huge sums in a collectors’ market.